After stinging Hornets, CVU girls look to Rice1/29/09

Redhawks hoopsters end losing streak

Jan. 29, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

They emerged victorious Tuesday night after a visit to the Essex Junction Hornets’ nest, and now the 7-6 Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team will roll into the South Burlington castle of the Rice Memorial High Green Knights at 7 p.m. on Friday for another road session with a substantial foe.

Rice handed the Redhawks their first loss of the season, 35-33 on Dec. 22 at Bremner Gymnasium.

The prospects appeared difficult for coach Stan Williams’ combine when the girls took the floor Tuesday in Essex, with a three-game losing string in tow. Essex was rumbling along with a heady 10-2 mark.

But Williams had done some scouting and came up with a 2-1-2 zone that shut down the Hornets for the first half while the Redhawks worked up an 18-9 advantage by halftime. The lead proved decisive.

“The girls played well tonight,” Williams said after the game.

The coach admitted that zones are not usually in his bag of defensive schemes. The zone, with pesky guards out front trapping and harassing Essex ball handlers, limited the Hornets to but four hoops in 23 first half shots while forcing 11 Essex turnovers. After falling behind 4-0 early, CVU, with a balanced scoring effort, went on an 18-5 run through the end of the second period.

First half help came from the entire roster. Leading the point production was Allison Gannon with seven tallies, including five from the free throw line as her inside moves to the basket drew fouls. A solid contributor off the bench was sophomore Shae Hulburt with two points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist.

Essex turned up the defensive heat with its trapping press in the second half, but after the Hornets drew to within five points (19-14) early in the third period, CVU got its cool back and slowly added to its lead, going ahead by a game high 14 points when Kate Bashaw buried a three-pointer after a nifty inside-out pass from Renick Lalancette with 1:49 left in the quarter.

With guard Whitney Elliott (14 points for the game) leading the way, Essex pulled to within 36-29 with 4:01 remaining in the game. Just as it appeared the Hornets’ full court pressure defense was wearing down the Redhawks, Hulbert found a speeding Gannon by herself at the payoff end of the court and the CVU junior veteran nailed the layup and resulting free throw to restore a 10-point lead and the outcome.

“That was a big play,” Williams acknowledged.

Gannon led the winners with 21 points and nine rebounds, hitting 11 of 14 free throws. Kendal Kohlasch chipped in with seven points and six rebounds plus at least two assists.

The Redhawks were 17-of-23 from the charity stripe while Essex went 5-for-7.

In gaining the triumph, CVU was able to bury the sour taste of a 67-39 defeat at the shooting hands of Burlington High on Saturday afternoon.

Burlington put the game into the victory column in a second period in which the Seahorses outscored the Redhawks 23-7 by going 9-for-9 from the floor, despite eight turnovers produced by an aggressive CVU defense. In the perfecto from the field, the Seahorses nailed three three-pointers and at least three layups under serious defensive pressure.

Burlington went 21-for-40 for the game while the Hawks, led by Gannon’s 13 points and Lalancette’s nine, were 15-for-46.

CVU (44)

Kohlasch 2 3-4 7, Lalancette 2 1-1 5, Gannon 5 11-14 21, Russ 0 1-2 1, Evans 0 0-0 0, Berry 1 0-0 2, Bashaw 1 1-2 4, Kinneston 1 0-0 2, Hulbert 1 0-0 2, Giles 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 17-23 44.

Essex (35)

McNamara 1 0-0 2, Armstrong-Laird 0 0-0 0, Elliott 5 2-4 14, Panton 2 0-0 5, Tremblay 0 0-0 0, Visker 2 0-0 5, Hetling 2 3-3 7, Greene 1 0-0 2, Brooks 0 0-0 0, Barford 0 0-0 0, Broughton 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 5-7 35.

CVU    7    11    14    12 – 44

Essex    4    5    12    14 – 35